Concussion Education and Prevention

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A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way the brain functions. Effects are usually temporary, but can include problems with headache, concentration, memory, judgment, balance and coordination. (Mayo Clinic Staff.). A concussion occurs with a jolt or blow to the head, the brain is bounced around and may make contact with the hard skull. Essentially causing a bruise on the brain. This "bouncing around" can cause an alteration in the chemicals or neurotransmitters (chemicals that are used to relay messages to other cells). Many people do not realize while they enjoy watching competitive sports, this is one of the most common places for a concussion to occur.

Many years ago, concussions weren’t recognized as easily and did not get the respect they deserved. When players took a hit to the head and were our or dazed, they were said to have “their bell rung” and skipped maybe their next shift at best. Many concussions went untreated or undiagnosed. We now recognize that undiagnosed concussion can be especially dangerous. It is critical that the brain be protected from sustaining another blow until full recovery has been reached. “Most concussions symptoms disappear within 2 weeks, but 10 to 20 percent of concussion sufferers experience symptoms weeks to months to years later.”(National Academy of Sciences.) This statement shows many symptoms go away, but about ⅕ of concussion sufferers will experience symptoms later in life. Here are a few acute symptoms of concussion.

The most obvious clue is loss of conscious after an impact to the head. Other symptoms may be more subtle but should be recognized on the sidelines by coaches, officials, trainers and other players. These include dizziness, confusio...

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